THE BEER BLOGGING FAMILY
Back in the day, as we all bathed in the scintillating feel-good glow of the dud that was the Y2K bug, technology switched on to a new trend – blogging. For a short, keyboard-thrashing moment, blogs became the thing to adopt. It seemed like everyone had one. Three months later, only 2% of people had one, as the other 98% had become silent, sitting there with the last post never to be followed up. Most of them still exist, online time capsules depicting forgotten moments, forever unchanging as the rest of the internet cascades onwards.
But since then, there’s been something of a quiet revolution – blogs and bloggers are now (rightly) taken seriously, their opinions tracked and responded to. Seen as the true conveyors of unbiased opinion on the internet, they have become viable sources of information, trusted by their readers. In fact, to complete the circle of irony, mainstream news outlets now have blogs to get their content out with more degree of immediacy, and intimacy.
Here at BrewDog, we recognise how important beer bloggers are to our industry – committed men and women with a genuine passion for getting across their personal viewpoint, or telling others the stories they uncover. As we try and engage with bloggers as often as possible, we felt it might be useful to think of them more as a family; a connected series of groups.
But what are those groups? Here’s our take…
Carrier bag-clinking bottle shop warriors, these bloggers are also the ones you see subtly moving their notebooks out of shot when they take photos of their pints. The blog isn’t simply a means to justify their drinking (although it certainly helps), they blog to keep record of what they have tried. Other people read them because they are a great resource – it gives a mental note of what to drink when setting off for a night out. We love them because they tell it like it is.
A fusillade of fast-refreshing blogging is their weaponry, and press releases their ammunition. Newshounds love being in the know. Some are CTRL-V dry, others add a depth of analysis – but without knowing what’s going on in the world of craft beer, we’d all be none the wiser. They break beery news before all other beer bloggers have realised they even have hangovers. Newshounds are simply the repository of all that needs to be known.
Writing for the sheer joy of doing so, for these bloggers the process is every bit as important as the subject. It’s also an outlet for their frustrations, and a chance to elevate beer to the mainstream – where they (and we) know it belongs. We love Creatives because their blogs change daily; they are continually interesting. Florid, lengthy commentary, pithy, precise questions or both-barrel rants – their blog posts are always perfect lunchtime fodder.
A look into the past, through the scribbling of long dead brewers and drinkers; Historicos are fascinated by knowledge gained through studying archives and ledgers. People who read them feel exactly the same way, and share the burden of preserving our brewing legacy. For Historicos, it’s a hobby more than anything – you get the feeling they would continue blogging even if there were nobody around to read it. Which would be a shame, as their writing has genuine importance.
There has literally never been a better time to blog about beer than now. Than right now. Well, maybe next week when that ticket-only barrel-aged imperial release comes to town. And you know what? It’s impossible not to agree. These guys are tech-savvy and instantly aware if something new and exciting is on the beery horizon. Beer is fun – nobody should ever forget that – and the Enthusiasts do a brilliant job of reminding us all that’s great about modern brewing.
The active Homebrew community is another reason why blogging is a hugely important resource. Fellow kitchen brewers can get advice or help, as journeys are charted from syrup to all-grain (and beyond) in exciting, excruciating detail. Many professional brewers start at home; who knows how many have been inspired to move up having contracted ‘kit envy’ from reading the blogs of fellow homebrewers? These blogs are about much more than documenting skill; they are a goldmine.
The Many Others
Blogging is so vibrant and individual, there has to be an ‘other’ category. These bloggers put their thoughts across in such an interesting way it makes you take notice. Choosing to blog for any number of reasons, they reflect the personalities of the people behind them, making you realise (if this post hasn’t finally done so) that blogging succeeds in remaining relevant because there is a constantly-refreshing stream of different viewpoints appearing.
Which beer blogs do you read on a regular basis? And if you’re a beer blogger, in which of these groupings do you see yourself…?